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Adam

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When Adam opened his eyes, he was in a garden.  But he didn’t know at that moment that it was a garden.  He knew only God.

He felt the softness of the grass around him and asked, “God, is that you!”

“Yes,” God answered.  And Adam was afraid to touch the grass because he was in awe of God.  He felt the summer wind passing over his body, and he asked, “God, is that you!”

“Yes,” God replied.  And Adam’s hair stood on end.

“Come, walk in me,” said the garden who was God.  But Adam said, “How can I walk on your body, God!”  And he trembled and dared not move.  But God, the garden, wanted him to play, so when the wind rustled in the leaves, and Adam, shivering, asked, “Is that you, God!” God replied, “No, it is I, the wind”.  And when the birds twittered, he said, “It is I, the bird”.  And still Adam was afraid.

So God gave him a playmate.  When Adam saw her he asked, “Are you God?” Eve answered, “I am Eve.  Are you God?”

“No,” said Adam, “I am Adam”.

“Then where is God?” asked Eve.

“I don’t know,” said Adam.  “Just now He was here; He must have gone away.”  So Adam and Eve started playing Adam and Eve.  From time to time, when he was in a meditative mood, he asked a flower, “Are you God!” but the flower answered, “I am only a flower”.  And the rain said, “I am the rain,” and the sun and the moon and the stars all answered in the same way.  “Where is God?” Adam asked himself, suddenly anxious.  “He has left me alone.  God, where are you?” But there was no answer.

The sun kissed his skin, the wind brought him coolness, the fruits gave him sweetness and the garden beauty.  But to no avail.  He wanted God.

One night after he had fallen asleep he thought he heard footsteps outside in the garden.

“Who walks in the night?” he asked in his dream.  And God answered, “It is I, God”.

Adam shivered with delight, recalling the beginnings in the garden when every time he asked, “God, is that you!” God had answered, “Yes, it is !” But now God was hiding himself from Adam.  Did He walk only in dreams?  Where could He actually hide?  Yes, in his dream he could clearly see God hiding in things and behind things.

The next day, while listening to the bees humming in the summer sun, suddenly he knew: it was the voice of God humming to himself.  And he smiled.  He didn’t have to ask.  He knew now.  God could not hide any longer.  A long-legged insect was climbing a stem, and by the twinkle in its eye Adam knew God was looking at him.  And wherever he looked, in a flower or in a star or even in the eyes of Eve, he could see the eyes of God.  He looked around him and there was no garden.  There never had been a garden.  There was only God.

And then again he could see the garden, the living body of God, his message to Adam, his invitation to play.  And Adam was happy.

– Te Ana Vava (Medhananda)

(Medhananda was born in Germany and became a judge of the High Court at Frankfurt.  He then lived in Tahiti for several years. In 1949 he wrote to Sri Aurobindo and joined the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1952.  He was given the work of Librarian of Sri Aurobindo Library by the Mother.)

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